Retailer's finance arm fueled by new funds

Updated 2017-12-27 09:30:34 China Daily

Suning Finance, a subsidiary of Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd, has added 15 new strategic investors including Yun Feng Capital-founded by Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group-raising 6.3 billion yuan (2 million), a move to offer diversified finance services and upgrade its retail customer's shopping experiences.

At an estimated value of 27 billion yuan prior to the increased investment, the company has expanded its total value by 16.5 percent, offering shares to the new investors, a list that also includes GP Capital and China International Capital Corporation Limited (CICC).

After the new investment, Suning Commerce is still the controlling shareholder of Suning Finance.

Suning Finance's value is now estimated at 32.3 billion yuan. Of the investment, Yun Feng Capital invested 1 billion yuan, GP Capital invested 6 billion yuan, Suning Finance 2.89 billion yuan and its employee shareholders 267 million yuan.

Suning Commerce Group said the move will help Suning Finance provide comprehensive and diversified financial services, thereby enhancing customers experiences and loyalty.

Founded in April 2016, Suning Finance, which offers services including third party payment, supply chain financing and consumption credit and loan-has grown rapidly, reaching 500 billion yuan worth of transactions in 2016. By the third quarter of 2017, it reached 700 billion yuan, ranking within the top five domestic internet finance and technology firms.

A home-appliance-turned-retail giant chain, Suning Commerce Group is expected to open 5,000 new stores by 2018 and 15,000 new outlets in three years. That means nearly 200,000 stores covering more than 20 million square meters of commercial real estate.

Two of the main investors in Suning Finance are increasingly emphasizing on the convergence of offline and online. Alibaba focuses on the "New Retail" strategy while Suning Commerce Group's chairman Zhang Jindong rolled out an "intelligent retail" concept.

Zhang invited real estate tycoons Wang Jianlin, the president of Dalian Wanda Group and Sun Hongbin, founder and chairman of Sunac China Holdings to visit its headquarters in Nanjing on Dec 19. Suning Commerce Group recently announced a plan to cooperate with Wang from next year.

In the past few years, Suning has worked on revamping its brick-and-mortar stores and operations, closing down or restructuring outlets that have not operated with healthy profits.

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